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Self-portraitc 1895

by Catherine Elizabeth Streeter

Catherine Streeter worked in Melbourne as a portrait painter and art teacher until 1921. She achieved success, with an honourable mention for her work at the Paris International Exhibition of 1878.

After a long break from painting following her husband’s death in 1880 and her own poor health, she moved to Brisbane, which ‘quite restored her’. Two years later she was exhibiting again.

In crafting this self-portrait, Streeter has chosen to paint herself with palette and brushes, still at work in her senior years. Rather than depicting her studio practice realistically, she presents herself in an elegant ensemble set off with an array of jewellery, including an Australian quandong (native peach) seed necklace.